Top 6 Smith and Wesson 929 Problems And How To Fix

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I’m excited to share my hands-on experience with the Smith and Wesson 929. After spending some good time out in the field, I’ve gotten to know this firearm pretty well. 

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a solid piece of equipment, but not without its challenges. So, let’s keep it real. 

Here’s the deal: We’re going to go through six Smith and Wesson 929 Problems I’ve bumped into. These include a cylinder release issue, a hiccup with the single action trigger, cases getting stuck in the cylinder, a rather heavy trigger, some firing issues, and, last but not least, troubles with the moon clip.

But hey, don’t sweat it. The aim of this article is to guide you through these issues and offer some straightforward solutions. 

Overview of S&W 929 Problems & their Solutions

Cylinder Release IssueInstall an extended cylinder release.
Single Action Trigger IssueContact Smith & Wesson for troubleshooting.
Cases Stuck in the CylinderChange ammo and clean the chamber thoroughly.
Heavy Trigger ProblemReach out to Smith & Wesson for a fix.
Firing IssueReplace the leaf spring and try different ammo.
Moon Clip ProblemCall Smith & Wesson for a replacement clip.

6 Problems & Solutions for the Smith and Wesson 929

1. Cylinder Release Issue

Alright, let’s talk about the cylinder release. While putting the Smith & Wesson 929 through its paces, I couldn’t help but notice that the cylinder release is a bit on the shorter side. 

This became especially apparent during quick reloads or when I was switching grips. A few times, my thumb just completely missed the release button.

Now, this can be a real letdown for a revolver that’s mostly used in competitions. Trust me, in the heat of a match, you don’t want to fumble with your cylinder release.


So, here’s what I did to fix this. Changing the cylinder release isn’t rocket science. All it takes is a bit of time and focus. 

I installed an extended cylinder release, which made a difference. No more awkward thumb movements or fumbling around. 

I felt more confident during my competitions. And let me tell you, a secure grip and an easy-to-reach cylinder release can do wonders for your performance. 

So yeah, take it from me: if you’re serious about competition, consider swapping out that short cylinder release for an extended one.

2. Single Action Trigger Issue

So, on to the single-action trigger. Most of us who shoot competitively rarely use the single-action mode. 

That’s why it was sort of bewildering to find that the single-action trigger on the Smith & Wesson 929 is extremely light. 

At first, it seemed like no big deal at first, but then it hit me—this could be a safety concern, especially for folks new to shooting. You don’t want to accidentally fire a round just because the trigger is too sensitive.


After scratching my head over this for a bit, I decided to reach out to Smith & Wesson directly. And you know what? They were super helpful. 

I described the issue, and they offered to troubleshoot it for me. So, if you’re facing a similar issue, my advice is simple: call the experts. 

The Smith & Wesson support team is there to help. Safety is always a priority, so don’t hesitate to consult the pros about something as crucial as a trigger sensitivity issue.

3. Cases Stuck in the Cylinder

Let’s tackle the sticky issue of cases getting stuck in the cylinder. While out in the field, I loaded up and fired away, only to find that the empty cases didn’t want to come out as easily as they should. 

Turns out, this is a well-known issue with the 929 model. The main culprits? Using incompatible ammo and the accumulation of brass in the chamber. 

These factors can mess up your day, making it harder to reload and costing you precious seconds in a competition.


The good news is the solution is pretty straightforward. First, I switched out the problematic ammo, and voila! The issue was significantly reduced. But don’t stop there; if you notice the problem persisting, take a look at the chamber. 

I cleaned mine thoroughly, focusing on removing any brass buildup. Once that was done, my revolver worked like a charm. 

So, if you’re having similar problems, check your ammo and give that chamber a good scrub. It’s simple, but it makes a world of difference.

4. Heavy Trigger Problem

Next up is the issue with the heavy trigger, specifically in double-action mode. I couldn’t help but notice that the trigger pull felt a bit like lifting a small dumbbell every time I squeezed it. 

The pull is around 9 pounds, way more than the single-action mode. A heavy trigger can throw off your aim and slow you down if you’re in a competition or a stressful situation. 

And I’m not alone; many users have pointed out this issue, making it a prevalent concern with the Smith & Wesson 929.


So what’s the remedy? Well, I did what any concerned user would do; I reached out to Smith & Wesson. 

They’re the experts, after all. They offered to figure out what was wrong and troubleshoot the issue for me. And that’s exactly what they did. So, if you’re grappling with a heavy trigger, don’t try to wing it yourself. 

A simple call to Smith & Wesson can save you a lot of headaches and get your trigger pull just right. After their fix, it was much easier to stay on target.

5. Firing Issue

Now, let’s dive into a pretty serious issue: failure to fire. Yeah, you heard that right. Out of eight rounds, four didn’t ignite. 

That’s a 50% failure rate, and in a sport or a situation where every shot counts, that’s unacceptable. A little investigation led me to two likely causes.

Either the ammo wasn’t compatible, or the firing pin was malfunctioning. Either way, it’s a significant issue that needs immediate attention.


I took a two-step approach to solving this problem. First, I replaced the leaf spring to boost the priming force. 

That helped a bit, but it didn’t completely solve the issue. So, I moved on to step two and switched out the ammo. Bingo! The gun functioned much more reliably. If you’re facing similar issues, try this two-pronged approach. 

Start with the leaf spring; try different ammunition if that doesn’t cut it. But don’t forget, safety first. Make sure you’re making these adjustments in a controlled environment.

6. Problem with the Moon Clip

So, here’s another little hiccup I ran into with the Smith & Wesson 929. It’s the moon clip 


You know, those handy devices that make reloading a breeze? Yeah, well, one out of the three provided in the box was a dud. It wouldn’t hold a 9mm case in any of its slots. 

Imagine trying to quickly reload in a competition and then—oops!—one moon clip isn’t doing its job. Pretty frustrating, right? Other users have pointed out the same issue, so it’s not just me.


No worries, though; the fix is easy enough. A quick call to Smith & Wesson, and they’ll send you a replacement moon clip. 

I did just that and received my new, fully functional moon clip in no time. So, if you’re stuck with a faulty moon clip, don’t let it ruin your day. 

Just pick up the phone, give Smith & Wesson a call, and they’ll sort it out for you. After the swap, all three moon clips were up to snuff, and I was back to fast, efficient reloading.

Final Verdict

The Smith & Wesson 929 is a respectable firearm, built with both the amateur and professional shooter in mind. That said, it’s far from perfect. In my field testing, I encountered various issues, from cylinder release problems to cases getting stuck. 

But here’s the kicker: every issue had a solution. Most fixes were straightforward, requiring little more than a call to Smith & Wesson’s responsive customer service or a minor tweak. 

So, should these problems deter you from owning a 929? Absolutely not. The 929’s performance, even with its challenges, makes it a compelling choice, particularly for competition shooting. So, go ahead and get one. 

Just be ready to dial in a few adjustments to make it the perfect tool for your needs.


How much is a Smith and Wesson 929? 

The Smith & Wesson 929 Performance model costs $1,406.99.

What is the difference between S&W 986 and 929? 

The 986 is a seven-shot L-frame revolver, while the 929 is an eight-shot N-frame model.

What frame is a S&W 929? 

The Model 929 is built on Smith & Wesson’s robust N-frame.

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I'm Micheal, an avid shooter and hunting enthusiast from Texas. I'm a recreational shooter who loves to spend time at the range and enjoy learning about new firearms and gears. I love to write about guns and share my passion for shooting with others.

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